One of the largest auctions of Chinese stamps this year will be held in Hong Kong at The Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay from December 15-18.
Over 3,800 lots will go on auction, and these are estimated to bring over HK$50 million (US$6.4 million) in sales.
The growth in Chinese stamp collecting is being fuelled by the economic growth of mainland China. Many Chinese now view stamp collecting both as a sophisticated and fashionable hobby, as well as an attractive alternative investment.
Dr. Jeffrey Schneider, an international expert in Chinese and Asian philately, said: “Philately has a special place in Chinese culture, with rare stamps regarded as important cultural icons and treasures, just like art, and thus fiercely competed over.”
There has been a dramatic increase in the value of Chinese stamps recently. Many People’s Republic stamps, for example, have increased in value by 200% or more over the last decade.
|1968 “The Whole Country is Red” (lot 2511)
Presale estimate HK$5,500,000-6,000,000
The highlights of this year’s auction include the 1968 “The Whole Country is Red,” a very rare mint block of four showing the printer’s imprint. Alone, this has a pre-sale estimate of HK$5,500,000-6,000,000.
This stamp, which was withdrawn almost immediately after its issuance in November 1968, shows the island of Taiwan in white in contrast to the red-colored mainland. Interestingly, this is reportedly the reason why this stamp was withdrawn.
Another rarity in this important sale is a set of three of the immensely rare 1964 unissued Peking Opera Masks (with a combined presale estimate of HK$2,100,000-2,600,000).
The 1967 unissued 40th Anniversary of the Jinggangshan Revolutionary Base will also go on sale. The latter is popularly known as “Blue Heaven,” and it’s the rarest stamp of the Cultural Revolution (presale estimate HK$3,000,000-3,500,000).
|1967 unissued 40th Anniversary
of the Jinggangshan Revolutionary Base – “Blue Heaven” (lot 2518)
Presale estimate HK$3,000,000-3,500,000
The sale will also feature rare stamps of Classic China. Major rarities include a recently discovered small figures 2c black-green surcharge from the 1897 Red Revenues series – the most popular Classic Chinese stamp issue and only the third recorded example of this major rarity (presale estimate HK$1,000,000-1,200,000).
|1897 Red Revenue small figures 2c black-green surcharge (lot 433)
Presale estimate HK$1,000,000-1,200,000
It will also have on sale three of the “Four Treasures of the Republic” (the most valuable stamps from the Middle Period between 1911 and 1937, with a combined estimate of HK$2,600,000-3,200,000) and a marginal example of the popular 1941 Dr. Sun Yat-sen inverted centre error (presale estimate HK$2,200,000-2,600,000).
|1914-19 Hall of Classics $2 inverted centre –
one of the “Four Treasures of the Republic” (lot 650)
Combined estimate of HK$2,600,000-3,200,000
|1923 2c. on 3c. inverted surcharge –
one of the “Four Treasures of the Republic” (lot 726)
Presale estimate HK$1,200,000-1,500,000
|Sinkiang Province 1915 $1 showing transposed second and third characters of overprint error –
one of the “Four Treasures of the Republic” (lot 732)
Presale estimate HK$400,000-500,000
|1941 Dr. Sun Yat-sen inverted centre error (lot 1130)
Presale estimate HK$2,200,000-2,600,000